TORONTO, ON — The Law Society of Upper Canada called 282 new lawyers to the Ontario Bar Friday, including 36 from Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.
Law Society Treasurer Paul B. Schabas conferred upon the candidates the degree of Barrister-at-Law and admitted them to the Bar of Ontario at a ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall.
“Your Call to the Bar today is a wonderful achievement that we celebrate, as much for what you have accomplished to get here, as it is a celebration of what is to come,” Treasurer Schabas told the new lawyers. “It is to you that we look to continue to develop our laws — our restraints and our freedoms. We cannot have one without the other, and you, as lawyers, must preserve that delicate balance.”
As part of the ceremony, a special address was given by Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Dean Angelique EagleWoman. The law school opened in 2013 — the first to serve the Northern communities in the province.
“This Charter Class brought our law school to life,” she told the Lakehead lawyers. “This is a significant and important event... It is with great pride that we mark this occasion and wish you all the best in your legal careers.”
As part of its Call ceremonies, the Law Society confers honorary Doctor of Laws degrees (LLDs), in recognition of outstanding achievements in service and benefit to the legal profession, the rule of law or the cause of justice. The LLD recipients serve as inspirational keynote speakers.
Honorary LLDs were bestowed upon two distinguished leaders in law and social justice: Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Professor David N. Weisstub.
Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler is a highly respected leader who has championed the cause for truth and social justice for First Nation communities. Professor Weisstub is an international, distinguished leader in forensic psychiatry and human rights. He is recognized as a true pioneer in the development of law and mental health.
"I am honoured to be recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada and I congratulate these newly called lawyers, including the charter class from Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law,” said Grand Chief Fiddler. “I am proud of our achievements creating access and accountability for First Nations in the justice system, and I share this honour with everyone who has contributed over the years in many meaningful ways.”
In his address, Professor Weisstub told new lawyers: “More than any time in modern history, the incoming generation of lawyers will take on roles that were previously unknown,” he said. “The field of law and psychiatry has branched out into a multitude of new subjects demonstrating how psychiatry and psychology can illuminate the interaction of judges, lawyers, and clients.”
The Law Society of Upper Canada is the governing body for more than 50,000 lawyers and 7,700 paralegals in the province of Ontario, Canada. The mandate of the Law Society is to govern the legal profession in the public interest by upholding the independence, integrity and honour of the legal profession for the purpose of advancing the cause of justice and the rule of law.
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